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JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com. THE CAMBROJJRITON, 205 ETYMOLOGY. n » i i THE WORD " PARDON" AND ITS SYNONYMES IN WELSH, GREEK, AND LATIN. Pardon one from the clouds of Cader Idris, Mr. Editor, for presuming to obtrude on your pages the result of some wanderings in the regions of etymology, by way of variety, or as a contrast to the discoveries you make in the brilliant atmosphere of London. And, the first word of my text being very necessary to be well un- derstood among friends and foes, I will endeavour to trace its origin and derivation. Pardon is to be found in most of the European languages, but not of very high antiquity in any. It began to appear in the Welsh upwards of 500 years back ; and it has been deemed a le- gitimate word therein by some learned critics. Yet I have always rejected it as an exotic, in writing my native tongue; but I now begin to surmise that I have been over fastidious in so doing. In Welsh the word is written pardum, and thence, by inflec- tion, the verb pardynu. Par and twn are two primitive words, which compounded form purdwn, the t, in turn, taking its soft sound, for want of an appropropriate character in the Roman al- phabet, represented by the letter d. Par implies that is upon, contiguous, or tn. continuity ; a state of readiness, or preparedness; a pair, match, or couple : " I mi ar bar y mae'r bedel,"— To me in. preparation is the grave. D. G. 1340. Twn is a break, a frac- ture, a rising off; nscale, a.splint; adj. — broken, severed, splintered: and its f. is ton, a breaker of the sea; tonau, breakers. Hence the literal meaning of par and (ion, forming pardvm, is a break off of what is upon or joined ; a separation. The Greek noun <*Qunf, and its verb aQmpu, and the Latin noun venia, with the verb mitto, which imply pardon, and to remit, shall now be put to the same criterion ; because the greater part, perhaps, of the primitives of those two languages are not only preserved also in the Welsh, but they are used in their sim- ple forms, as words of obvious signification. Etymologists refer the noun a$s<n;, to the verb ofnyu, to remit, which enables us to identify it with a Welsh primitive. Pi is the state of being in, or possessed; PIANT, possession; PI AW, to own, to become possessed of. The negative a, prefixed to piaw, would: form aphiaw, to sever from, to dispossess. The Latin term venia comes next to be considered. But let it 306 THE CAMBRO-BRITON. be first observed, that the « is not a radical articulation, according to the principle of the Welsh alphabet, of 16 primary characters, but it is either the soft mutation of b or of m *; and it is a charac- ter that has not even a place in the Greek alphabet. Therefore, in seeking for a primitive to venia, we must have recourse to one with a radical initial. Many words of common origin, in the Welsh and the Latin, begin with a g in the former, and v in the latter: as gior, vir; gwynt, ventus ; gwyrth, virtus ; gwir, verus ; and the like. A Welsh word, conformable to this principle, of- fers itself to notice, which is gwan, a going through, a severing, a dividing, a thrust, a stab; and the verb is gwanu: " Y neb 4 wanai, nid adweinid." — Whoever he should send away would not be recognised. Aneurin. The g loses its sound in certain cases in most languages ; and in the Welsh it doth so regularly under va- rious ruleg of construction. The last to be noticed is the Latin verb mitto, to send, to dis- miss, to throw off; and also used in the sense of its derivative, re- mitto. Etymology refers this to the Greek verb pi&iu, of like im- port; and which comes to our purpose. The common term inWelsh, for pardon, is maddeuant, from maddeu, and the regular verb is ma- ddeuaw, to let go, to set at large, to loosen, to liberate, to dismiss, to quit, to pardon. Eneid-vaddeu, that is, about to let the soul depart, one condemned to death ; maddeu y dyrva, to dismiss the multitude ; maddeuynt eu rhwydau, they left their nets ; maddena vy mod hyved, pardon my being so bold. Tt is remarkable, that there is scarcely a difference in sound between the Greek ^t9i5 and the Welsh maddeuaw; as may be seen by dividing it thus, ma-ddeu-aw, and pronouncing the middle syllable like the English pronoun they, with ma before and o after it — ma-they-o. Thus it is demonstrated, that the Welsh language has pre- served the roots of the words a.$t<ri<, f«6iu, mitto, and pardon. The old Cymry must have been of a forgiving disposition, by their bestowing a word to ask pardon on most of their neighbours, except the English, whom they suffered out of spite to put up with their own awkward forgiveness, till they got their pardon, at second-hand, from the French. Digona hyna. Geirion. • See Cambro-Britof, vol. i. p. 245, for an account of the Welsh radical letters, and also p. 404, where the principle of initial mutations in the Welsh language is fully explained.— -Ed.